Book Reviews

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When Annie Jacobson’s brother Mike enlists as a medic in the Army in 1967, he hands her a piece of paper with the address of their long-estranged father. If anything should happen to him in Vietnam, Mike says, Annie must let their father know. 

In Mike’s absence, their father returns to face tragedy at home, adding an extra measure of complication to an already tense time. As they work toward healing and pray fervently for Mike’s safety overseas, letter by letter the Jacobsons must find a way to pull together as a family, regardless of past hurts. In the tumult of this time, Annie and her family grapple with the tension of holding both hope and grief in the same hand, even as they learn to turn to the One who binds the wounds of the brokenhearted.

Author Susie Finkbeiner invites you into the Jacobson family’s home and hearts during a time in which the chaos of the outside world touched their small community in ways they never imagined.

I read this book as research for some of my own writings, and it drew me in and held me captive more than I’d like to admit.

This book is set in a small town, with a small town feel that leaves me longing for more.
Everyone knows everybody else.
Everybody is in everyone else’s business.
Everybody protects everybody.
And it perfectly captures the ebb and flow of small town living. The fact that the book is set in Michigan only makes it better, since most of my relatives were born and raised there. In the area around Lake Michigan — and this story takes place only 20 minutes from there. Which means that I was familiar with many of the places written about, and it was perfect. The campground was never given a name, but I know one just like it. The diner was similar to one that we’ve eaten at. The lake was familiar. And that was perfectly captured.

The characters were so very dear! The gruff old man was so sweet under the exterior, and the grumpy grandma was a dear woman. Oma was the quintessential woman, bringing meals to everyone in need, and the way the town comes together to support each other was perfectly captured. ‘Cause that’s what small towns do — support one another.

The pace was slow in parts, and faster in others, like driving down a winding country road. But it was never dull, and I always wanted to keep on reading.

And the end . . . I needed a box of tissues. Or three. It was terrible, yet so perfect!

All in all, I’d give the story four stars, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone! 

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review — I was not required to enjoy the book, merely to give an honest opinion*

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I am a 23 year old young lady who is redeemed and saved from my sin only by the grace of God. A bibliophile at heart with a love of history who desires to see the Word of God practically applied to all aspects of our daily lives -- in our homes, in the grocery store, in the political realm. I strive to put my jumbled, chaotic thoughts down onto paper -- reducing them into black and white rows, letters, sentences. Into some semblance of sanity. And I share them here with all of you, where I can challenge you, make you think, and cause you to ask questions. I am the oldest of eleven children living the country life in the deep south.

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